DeLong said it does not seem to make sense that hiring more employees would save money, but "the data on paper showed that it made sense."
"This has been a great way for us to 'put your money where your mouth is,' " he said.
Reducing overtime pay will save jails money in other ways, too. DeLong expects turnover rates will decrease as mandatory overtime disappears.
He said officers listed "burnout" as the No. 1 reason for quitting. Often, workers show up for 12-hour shifts but end up working 16 to 18 hours.
Reducing overtime also would cut down on incidents and allegations of abuse on inmates, DeLong said, and limit the number of worker's compensation claims by officers.
Last October's per diem reductions reduced the amount counties pay the authority from $48.80 a day to $48.25. Even that small change is expected to save counties more than $500,000.
Kanawha County is set to save about $56,000.
Other Top Headlines